The perfect selfie: makeup for insta-success

Is specialist makeup the key to the perfect selfie? Avon thinks so, and has just launched the first lipstick designed with selfies in mind. So what should you apply to ensure you need #nofilter?

Cosmetic brand Avon has just launched what it claims is the world’s first lipstick developed with the “selfie” in mind. Ultra Colour Bold Lipstick, at £7.50, is meant to give brighter, bolder colour in photographs, thanks to its exclusive “Pigment Loading Technology” and translucent, rather than opaque, base. Even I’m confused and I spend my life reading and testing this stuff.

What I do understand is the cleverness of a marketing strategy around the selfie, ie a self portrait taken with public posting in mind. Seventeen million selfies are posted on social networking each day, giving Avon a gargantuan market and publicity hook for the lipstick. But while the product itself seems perfectly fine, there is simply no need to buy specialist versions of anything for a quick snap on your iPhone. The selfie basics can be covered by everyday products.

Concealer is the most important beauty product in any great picture. It hides blemishes, brightens dark circles and evens discolouration before you have even selected an Instagram filter. My favourite is Clarins Instant Concealer, £21, which is applied simply with the ring finger and blended outwards.

Mobile phone cameras often lose detail and depth of field, and the first victims are usually the brows, which lose prominence. You can darken them again with Sleek’s superb Eyebrow Stylist, £5.99. Simply stroke upwards to the arch, then back down in longer strokes. Makeup that’s too shimmery can look either blotchy (when a phone is in selfie mode, which has no flash), or too shiny (when in normal “blind” mode), so a matte face powder such as Bobbi Brown’s Soft Finish Pressed Powder and a matte bronzer such as Body Shop’s Honey Bronze powder, £13, make for a photogenic base. As Avon suggests, a bold lipstick can look wonderful in photographs, giving the illusion of clearer skin and more prominent features. Among my favourites for the job are Estee Lauder’s Pure Color Envy, which has a beautifully silky, comfortable feel as well as the kinds of bold pigments normally only found in drier formulations. The red shade, Envious is my portrait lipstick of choice.

Powered by article was written by Sali Hughes, for on Monday 25th August 2014 10.53 Europe/London © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010